Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

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Tired at the office? Take a quick break; your work will benefit

3/16/21 ... 132124.htm

Recent research shows that people are more likely to take "microbreaks" at work on days when they're tired -- but that's not a bad thing. The researchers found microbreaks seem to help tired employees bounce back from their morning fatigue and engage with their work better over the course of the day.

At issue are microbreaks, which are short, voluntary and impromptu respites in the workday. Microbreaks include discretionary activities such as having a snack, chatting with a colleague, stretching or working on a crossword puzzle.

"A microbreak is, by definition, short," says Sophia Cho, co-author of a paper on the work and an assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University. "But a five-minute break can be golden if you take it at the right time. Our study shows that it is in a company's best interest to give employees autonomy in terms of taking microbreaks when they are needed -- it helps employees effectively manage their energy and engage in their work throughout the day."

The new paper is based on two studies that explored issues related to microbreaks in the workday. Specifically, the studies were aimed at improving our understanding of how people boost or maintain their energy levels throughout the day in order to engage with work even when they start the day already exhausted. The studies also examined which factors might play a role in determining whether people took microbreaks, or what they did during those microbreaks.

The first study surveyed 98 workers in the United States. Study participants were asked to fill out two surveys per day for 10 consecutive workdays. The surveys were completed in the morning and at the end of workday. The second study included 222 workers in South Korea. This study had participants complete three surveys per day for five workdays. Study participants completed the surveys in the morning, after lunch and at the end of the workday.

Survey questions in both studies were aimed at collecting data about each study participant's sleep quality, levels of fatigue, as well as their engagement with their work and their experiences at the workplace that day. In the studies, the researchers analyzed the survey data with statistical tools to examine day-to-day fluctuations in sleep quality, fatigue, work behavior and engagement in varying types of microbreaks.

The results were straightforward: on days that people were already fatigued when they arrived at work, they tended to take microbreaks more frequently. And taking microbreaks helped them maintain their energy level. This, in turn, helped them meet work demands and engage with work better.

"Basically, microbreaks help you manage your energy resources over the course of the day -- and that's particularly beneficial on days when you're tired," Cho says.

In addition, the researchers found that people were more likely to take microbreaks if they felt their employer cared about the health and well-being of its workers.

"When people think their employer cares about their health, they feel more empowered to freely make decisions about when to take microbreaks and what type of microbreaks to take," Cho says. "And that is ultimately good for both the employer and the employee."

Story Source:

Materials provided by North Carolina State University.

Journal Reference:

Sooyeol Kim, Seonghee Cho, YoungAh Park. Daily microbreaks in a self-regulatory resources lens: Perceived health climate as a contextual moderator via microbreak autonomy.. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2021; DOI: 10.1037/apl0000891
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

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COVID-19 pandemic severely impacts mental health of young people

3/22/21 ... 112907.htm

The Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted the mental health of young people, with increased levels of clinical depression being identified, a new study published in the journal Psychiatry Research reports. A decrease in alcohol consumption was also identified amongst young people during the pandemic.

During this unique study researchers from the University of Surrey surveyed 259 young people pre- pandemic (autumn 2019) and in the midst of initial lockdown measures (May/June 2020) on their levels of depression, anxiety, wellbeing, alcohol use and sleep quality.

Researchers found evidence of a substantial impact on the mental health of these young adults due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a significant rise in depression symptoms and a reduction in overall wellbeing during lockdown compared to the previous autumn. Levels of clinical depression in those surveyed were found to have more than doubled, rising from 14.9 per cent in autumn 2019 to 34.7 per cent in May/June 2020.

Sleep quality was not seen to decline in the overall sample but, importantly, a correlation was seen between the rise in depression and lower sleep quality under lockdown. Also of concern, researchers identified a significant shift towards 'eveningness' (a preference to go to sleep and wake later), which has previously been associated with higher levels of anxiety and a greater prevalence of minor psychiatric disorders.

Interestingly, despite reports of rising worldwide sales of alcohol during the first lockdown, researchers identified a significant decrease in alcohol consumption amongst the group that could be attributed to social restrictions in place during this period. Researchers were encouraged by this finding as it suggests that young people were not using alcohol as a coping strategy during that time.

Findings from this study highlight the substantial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on young people's mental health. The link to sleep quality could help inform strategies to support their wellbeing as the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve.

Dr Simon Evans, Lecturer in Neuroscience at the University of Surrey, said: "For many years there has been a rise in the number of young people experiencing problems with their mental health, and it is concerning to find that this has been significantly exacerbated due to Covid-19. Supporting the mental health of young people and ensuring they can access the support they need is vital to ensure their overall wellbeing. As social restrictions continue in response to the pandemic, it is crucial that we take steps to protect their mental health."

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Surrey. Original written by Natasha Meredith.

Journal Reference:

Simon Evans, Erkan Alkan, Jazmin K. Bhangoo, Harriet Tenenbaum, Terry Ng-Knight. Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on mental health, wellbeing, sleep, and alcohol use in a UK student sample. Psychiatry Research, 2021; 298: 113819 DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113819
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

Post by trader32176 »

Insomnia, disrupted sleep, and burnout linked to higher odds of severe COVID-19

Each 1-hour increase in sleep associated with 12% lower odds of infection among clinicians

3/22/21 ... 195837.htm

Insomnia, disrupted sleep, and daily burnout are linked to a heightened risk of not only becoming infected with coronavirus, but also having more severe disease and a longer recovery period, suggests an international study of healthcare workers, published in the online journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.

Every 1-hour increase in the amount of time spent asleep at night was associated with 12% lower odds of becoming infected with COVID-19, the findings indicate.

Disrupted/insufficient sleep and work burnout have been linked to a heightened risk of viral and bacterial infections, but it's not clear if these are also risk factors for COVID-19, say the researchers.

To explore this further, they drew on the responses to an online survey for healthcare workers repeatedly exposed to patients with COVID-19 infection, such as those working in emergency or intensive care, and so at heightened risk of becoming infected themselves.

The survey ran from 17 July to 25 September 2020, and was open to healthcare workers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the USA.

Respondents provided personal details on lifestyle, health, and use of prescription meds and dietary supplements plus information on the amount of sleep they got at night and in daytime naps over the preceding year; any sleep problems; burnout from work; and workplace exposure to COVID-19 infection.

Some 2884 healthcare workers responded, 568 of whom had COVID-19, ascertained either by self-reported diagnostic symptoms and/or a positive swab test result.

Infection severity was defined as: very mild -- no or hardly any symptoms; mild -- fever with or without cough, requiring no treatment; moderate -- fever, respiratory symptoms and/or pneumonia; severe -- breathing difficulties and low oxygen saturation; and critical -- respiratory failure requiring mechanical assistance and intensive care.

The amount of reported nightly sleep averaged under 7 hours, but more than 6. After accounting for potentially influential factors, every extra hour of sleep at night was associated with 12% lower odds of COVID-19 infection.

But an extra hour acquired in daytime napping was associated with 6% higher odds, although this association varied by country.

Around 1 in 4 (137;24%) of those with COVID-19 reported difficulties sleeping at night compared with around 1 in 5 (21%;495) of those without the infection.

And 1 in 20 (5%;28) of those with COVID-19 said they had 3 or more sleep problems, including difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or needing to use sleeping pills on 3 or more nights of the week, compared with 65 (3%) of those without the infection.

Compared with those who had no sleep problems, those with three had 88% greater odds of COVID-19 infection.

Proportionally more of those with COVID-19 reported daily burnout than did those without the infection: 31 (5.5%) compared with 71 (3%).

Compared with those who didn't report any burnout, those for whom this was a daily occurrence were more than twice as likely to have COVID-19. Similarly, these respondents were also around 3 times as likely to say that their infection was severe and that they needed a longer recovery period.

These findings held true, irrespective of the frequency of COVID-19 workplace exposure.

This is an observational study, and as such, can't establish cause. And the researchers acknowledge several limitations to their study.

These include subjective assessment of exposure levels, sleep issues, and infection severity, all of which may have been incorrectly remembered. And the sample included only cases of very mild to moderately severe COVID-19.

By way of an explanation for their findings, the researchers note: "The mechanism underlying these associations remains unclear, but it has been hypothesized that lack of sleep and sleep disorders may adversely influence the immune system by increasing proinflammatory cytokines and histamines."

And they point to studies linking burnout to a heightened risk of colds and flu as well as long term conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disease and death from all causes.

"These studies have suggested that burnout may directly or indirectly predict illnesses by occupational stress impairing the immune system and changing cortisol levels," they write.

And they conclude:"We found that lack of sleep at night, severe sleep problems and high level of burnout may be risk factors for COVID-19 in frontline [healthcare workers]. Our results highlight the importance of healthcare professionals' well-being during the pandemic."

"This study spotlights an often neglected area of wellbeing: the need for quality sleep and re-charge time to prevent burnout and its consequences. From an occupational and lifestyle medicine perspective, a better understanding of the effects of shift work and sleep is essential for the wellbeing of healthcare staff and other key workers," comments Dr Minha Rajput-Ray, Medical Director of NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition & Health, which co-owns the journal with BMJ.

"Disruptions to the sleep-wake cycle can affect metabolic, immune and even psychological health," she adds. "And sleep deprivation can make calorie dense foods, higher in fat, sugar and salt, more appealing, particularly during times of stress and/or difficult shift patterns, all of which takes a toll on overall health and wellbeing."

Story Source:

Materials provided by BMJ.

Journal Reference:

Hyunju Kim, Sheila Hegde, Christine LaFiura, Madhunika Raghavan, Eric Luong, Susan Cheng, Casey M Rebholz, Sara B Seidelmann. COVID-19 illness in relation to sleep and burnout. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 2021; bmjnph-2021-000228 DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000228
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

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Star-shaped brain cells impact the length and depth of sleep in mice

3/22/21 ... -mice.aspx

For something we spend one-third of our lives doing, we still understand remarkably little about how sleep works -- for example, why can some people sleep deeply through any disturbance, while others regularly toss and turn for hours each night? And why do we all seem to need a different amount of sleep to feel rested?

For decades, scientists have looked to the behavior of the brain's neurons to understand the nature of slumber. Now, though, researchers at UC San Francisco have confirmed that a different type of brain cell that has received far less study -- astrocytes, named for their star-like shape -- can influence how long and how deeply animals sleep. The findings could open new avenues for exploring sleep disorder therapies and help scientists better understand brain diseases linked to sleep disturbances, like Alzheimer's and other dementias, the authors say.

" This is the first example where someone did an acute and fast manipulation of astrocytes and showed that it was able to actually affect sleep. That positions astrocytes as an active player in sleep. It's really exciting."

- Trisha Vaidyanathan, Study's First Author and Neuroscience Graduate Student, UCSF

When we're awake, our brains are a Babel of disjointed neuronal voices chattering amongst themselves to allow us to work through life's daily tasks. But when we sleep, the voices of signaling neurons meld into a unified chorus of bursts, which neuroscientists call slow-wave activity. Recent research had suggested that astrocytes, not just neurons, may help trigger this switch.

Comprising an estimated 25 to 30 percent of brain cells, astrocytes are a type of so-called glial cell that blanket the brain with countless bushy tendrils. This coverage allows each individual astrocyte to listen in on tens of thousands of synapses, the sites of communication between neurons. The plentiful cells connect to each other through specialized channels, which researchers think may allow astrocytes located across the brain to function as one unified network. The hyperconnected and ubiquitous astrocytes might be able to drive synchronized signaling in neurons, as suggested by the new study, published March 17, 2021, in eLife.

"This could give us new insights not only into sleep but into diseases in which sleep dysregulation is a symptom," said study senior author Kira Poskanzer, PhD, an assistant professor in the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. "Maybe some diseases are affecting astrocytes in a way we hadn't thought about before."

Poskanzer and her team tracked changes in slow-wave activity in the brains of mice while manipulating astrocytes using a drug that can switch the cells on in genetically engineered animals. Slow-wave activity can be represented in much the same way as vibrations from an earthquake are scratched out on a seismograph. When the brain's awake, the resulting traces are typically a dense scribble of short and jerky motions. But when slow-wave activity kicks in during certain stages of sleep, the signal slows, lazily looping up and down to create a trace with deep valleys and high peaks. The researchers found that firing up astrocytes led to more slow-wave activity -- and thus sleep -- in the mice.

But the team wanted to examine astrocytes' role in finer detail, asking how these cells exert their influence and what aspects of sleep they manage.

In addition to the specialized junctions that join neighboring astrocytes, these cells are studded with a variety of receptor molecules that allow them to respond to signals coming from neurons and other types of cells around them. In the study the team hijacked two of these molecules -- called the Gi and Gq receptors -- and found that they each appeared to control a distinct aspect of sleep. Activating Gq receptors made animals sleep longer, but not more deeply, according to slow-wave measurements, while engaging Gi receptors put into a much deeper slumber without affecting sleep duration.

"Depth and duration are aspects of sleep that often get glossed over and lumped together even in neuroscience," said Vaidyanathan. "But picking apart these different aspects and how they're regulated is going to be important down the line for creating more specific sleep treatments."

The team also found that astrocyte activity has long reach across the brain: triggering astrocytes in one part of the cortex could affect neuronal behavior at a distant point. The researchers are eager to look further into the extent of this influence and to continue to study how different astrocytic receptors work together to impact sleep, Poskanzer says.

"What have people been missing because they're ignoring this group of cells?" she wondered. "The questions that haven't been answered thus far in sleep neurobiology -- maybe they haven't been answered because we haven't been looking in the right places."


University of California - San Francisco
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

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Study finds dramatic increases in rates of insomnia, sleep apnea among US military members

3/31/21 ... mbers.aspx

Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea have increased dramatically among active-duty military members over a 14-year period, 2005 through 2019.

Insomnia increased 45-fold and sleep apnea went up more than 30-fold, according to a study led by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio).

The study found that the most likely military member to be diagnosed with either sleep disorder was married, male, white, a higher-ranking enlisted Army service member and age 40 or older.

The researchers compared medical codes that represent diagnosis of sleep apnea or insomnia in active-duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force personnel. No medical code data was available for the Coast Guard or for the Space Force, which was established in December 2019.

" Other studies have been conducted in the past, but those were based more on self-reported surveys or focused on a single branch of the military. No one has studied these sleep disorders in multiple branches of the military before, based on universally used diagnostic medical codes from health records."

- Vincent Mysliwiec, MD., Principal Investigator

Dr. Mysliwiec is a sleep medicine physician and professor of research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio, and a retired U.S. Army colonel.

"The most surprising result was that military members in the Army had the highest rates of obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia diagnoses. These findings are concerning because service members across the military branches are otherwise healthy and have similar physical requirements. Their sleep disorders developed and were diagnosed while they were in the military," Dr. Mysliwiec said.

Lower rate seen in women

Another finding was that women were diagnosed for sleep disorders at a much lower rate than men. Women in the military were expected to have lower rates of sleep apnea than their male counterparts; however, women in the military were not expected to have lower rates of insomnia diagnoses. "This conflicts with the rate of insomnia diagnoses among female veterans and in civilian women, which are higher," he said.

A 2017 Department of Veterans Affairs study published in Women's Health Issues showed that more than half of female veterans reported in a postal survey that they have insomnia. "We were not expecting to find that women are potentially underdiagnosed for insomnia while they are on active duty," Dr. Mysliwiec said. "This is a concerning finding. We will need to conduct more research to better understand what contributes to the potential underdiagnosis of insomnia in active-duty women."

Long deployments

Study co-author Alan Peterson, PhD, added perspective to the large number of Army personnel who were diagnosed with sleep disorders. "While military deployments were not evaluated in this epidemiological study, previous research has shown a strong correlation between deployments and sleep disorders, and deployments combined with other chronic health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury," he said.

"In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there were longer and more frequent deployments between 2008 and 2012. The Army typically had the longest and most frequent deployments -- 21 months -- compared to 12 to 16 months for the other services," he explained.

"While we don't know yet exactly why Army personnel were more likely to be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia, another factor besides deployments could be that Army personnel have greater access to large medical centers, which are typically located on Army posts. In contrast, Marines rely on Navy medical facilities that may not be where they are serving," Dr. Peterson said.

"Another factor that could have influenced the results is that the Army was the first service to institute a service-wide education program on military sleep practices. Having greater access to medical facilities and the Army's emphasis on education about sleep disorders may have resulted in more soldiers recognizing their sleep disturbances and seeking appropriate treatment," Dr. Peterson said.

"Overall, this study provides a comprehensive overview of the two most common sleep disorders in the U.S. military and contributes to sleep research that opens the door to learning more about the causes for these diagnoses. This will lead to more targeted prevention strategies and more effective treatments," added Dr. Peterson, professor of psychiatry, chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine and director of two national military PTSD research consortia based at UT Health San Antonio.

The new study is posted in the advance articles section of Sleep, a top-tier journal of the Sleep Research Society.


University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Journal reference:

Moore, B.A., et al. (2021) Incidence of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea in active duty United States military service members. Sleep.
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

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Trial to investigate new therapies for sleep apnea

4/1/21 ... apnea.aspx

New trials at The University of Western Australia may offer hope to sufferers of sleep apnea who struggle to get a full night’s sleep without disruption.

Sleep apnea is the second most common sleep disorder affecting approximately 50 percent of people over the age of 50 and occurring when the airway or throat narrows or completely blocks during sleep.

The current most effective way of treating sleep apnea is via a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that blows air into the upper airway passages. However, less than 50 per cent of patients go on to use it long term.

UWA’s Centre for Sleep Science is seeking volunteers to take part in one of two current trials investigating two new treatments that are possibly more tolerable than CPAP yet still effective for users.

Dr Jen Walsh, Director of UWA’s Centre for Sleep Science, said there was a need for new sleep apnea therapies on the market.

" Current therapies for sleep apnea can work very well if people can tolerate them, but these potential new therapies might be a great alternative for people who struggle with existing options. It is really exciting that novel treatments for sleep apnea are being investigated. Being involved in a trial gives people the opportunity to test-run, and contribute to the development of, these cutting-edge therapies.”

- Dr Jen Walsh, Director of UWA’s Centre for Sleep Science

The Centre is looking for approximately 10 volunteers (up to 75 years old) who have obstructive sleep apnea but are not regularly using any treatments for each of the two studies.

The first trial involves a small surgery with regular follow up and therapy adjustment over a 12-month period.

Participants would place a small patch under the chin each night to stimulate the surgically fitted device and keep the airways open during sleep.

The second trial, a pharmaceutical study, would require participants to take medication over an eight-week period.

Both trials would involve at least five overnight stays at the sleep lab at the Centre for Sleep Science, to assess how effective the therapy is for participants.

" There is also the option for both studies to be extended if participants are willing."

- Dr Jen Walsh

Sleep study results will be provided to all participants. Those interested in taking part should contact the Centre for Sleep Science on 6488 4604 or 0447 591 894 or email


University of Western Australia
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

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New update addresses key issues in the delivery of sleep care using telemedicine

4/1/21 ... icine.aspx

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently published an update on the use of telemedicine for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders to reflect lessons learned from the transition to telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic and the benefits of continuing to utilize remote care when appropriate.

While the technology to remotely connect doctor and patient has been in place for years, its use was limited until the spread of COVID-19. In 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lifted restrictions on telemedicine reimbursement, and private insurance companies followed suit. Telemedicine has been critical to ensuring safe, timely care for patients during the pandemic, and the field of sleep medicine has proven to be a specialty that can offer complete and quality care remotely.

" Delivering care during the pandemic has proven to providers and insurers that telemedicine offers patients safe, secure and effective sleep care. The AASM will continue to advocate for permanent coverage and reimbursement of telemedicine services with CMS and third-party payers."

- Dr. Douglas Kirsch, Chair, AASM Telemedicine Presidential Committee

Published online as an accepted paper in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the update addresses several key issues in the delivery of sleep care using telemedicine, including quality and value, privacy and safety, health advocacy, and future directions. The paper shares new evidence that telemedicine is effective in the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnea and improves adherence to CPAP therapy. Telemedicine also has been widely used to provide care to patients with insomnia through cognitive behavioral therapy and brief behavioral therapy, with results similar to in-person treatment.

The paper also acknowledges opportunities for improvement in the adoption and use of telemedicine. Those include compliance with patient privacy laws, additional training for providers, and awareness of limited access among disadvantaged populations.

"Telemedicine improves access to care, but we need to be cautious that its use doesn't introduce new health inequities in underserved communities that may lack the necessary technologies," said Kirsch. "Improved connectivity and increased access to high-speed internet need to grow together with telehealth expansion."


American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Journal reference:

Shamim-Uzzaman, Q.A., et al. (2021) The use of telemedicine for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine update. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Associated With Specific Indicators of Aging

3/31/21 ... -of-aging/

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in young patients results in pathophysiologic changes associated with aging, according to study results recently published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Previous studies have shown that OSA may induce cellular and molecular changes that are associated with the aging process. In addition, these changes may be more significant in younger patients compared with older patients. However, these mechanisms have not been well characterized. The goal of this study was to evaluate specific indicators of aging and their association with OSA and to see whether these changes are consistent in patients across different age ranges.

Researchers recruited 599 patients with suspected sleep apnea who were referred to sleep units in 4 hospitals for this multicenter, observational and prospective study. All patients underwent a polysomnographic sleep study. To establish the relationship between the hallmarks of aging and OSA, the dose-response relationships of various OSA parameters were studied. OSA parameters included the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI; defined as the number of apneic and hypopneic events per hour of sleep), arousal index, and time with oxygen saturation less than 90%. To investigate the association of OSA and aging across different age ranges, patients were divided into 4 groups according to AHI and age (median, 50 years).

To investigate the effects of OSA on the aging process, 5 markers of aging that were previously identified were studied: alteration of cellular communication as measured by C-reactive protein (CRP), deregulation of nutrient sensing as measured by insulin resistance, telomere attrition as measured by telomeric length, mitochondrial dysfunction as measured by leukocytic mitochondrial DNA content, and genomic instability as measured by urinary concentration of 8-hydroxy-2’-deosxguanosine (8-OHdG).

Of the 599 recruited patients, 150 were categorized as “non-OSA” and 449 as OSA. Patients were primarily men, middle-aged, and overweight/obese. The linear relationship between OSA severity and hallmarks of aging was studied. The nonlinearity of the relationships was evaluated using generalized additive model (GAM) models. There was an association between all parameters of OSA and cellular communication, deregulation of nutrient sensing, and mitochondrial dysfunction. There was an association between AHI and arousal index and genomic instability when adjusted for confounding factors. There was no association between OSA and telomere attrition.

The association between OSA and hallmarks of aging was also evaluated by age group. In patients younger than 50, after adjusting for confounding factors there was an association between OSA and alteration of intercellular communication, deregulation of nutrient sensing, and genomic instability. There was no significant association between OSA and hallmarks of aging in older patients.

The authors acknowledged several limitations of the study, including the fact that not all age ranges were equally represented, onset of OSA was not available, the number of patients in each group was not homogenous, the patients studied were referred for OSA and as such may not be generalized to the global population, and not all markers of aging were studied.

In conclusion, the researchers wrote that their findings suggest a need for early diagnosis and intervention to prevent accelerated aging and its consequences. These findings are consistent with previous studies linking OSA to aging. However, additional studies are needed to clearly distinguish correlative and causal observations in the potential association between OSA and aging.


Pinilla L, Santamaria-Martos F, Benítez ID, et al; on behalf of the Spanish Sleep Network. Association of obstructive sleep apnea with the aging process. Ann Am Thorac Soc. Published online March 4, 2021 doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.202007-7710C
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

Post by trader32176 »

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected sleep patterns for many US citizens?

4/9/21 ... izens.aspx

A team of scientists recently conducted an online survey to examine the changes in sleep duration among adult US citizens during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The survey findings identify a strong association between COVID-19-related alteration in sleep duration and mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness. The study is currently available on the medRxiv* preprint server.


Sleep is a vital physiological process required for maintaining physical and mental homeostasis. It is well-established in the literature that there is a bidirectional association between sleeping behaviors and psychiatric disorders. The negative impact of sleep deprivation on mental health conditions further increases during stressful events, such as natural disasters and epidemic/pandemic conditions.

During previous pandemic conditions, such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) pandemic in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) pandemic in 2015, significantly high rates of anxiety disorders, depression, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder have been observed among individuals affected by the pandemic.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has put a lot of burden on the healthcare and socioeconomic structures of many countries globally. In addition to pandemic-related restrictions, fear of economic deprivation has considerably impacted the mental wellbeing of many individuals, especially young adults.

Given the strong association between sleep and mental health, the current study has been designed to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep duration and its association with sociodemographic and mental health factors among US citizens.

Study design

The scientists searched for participants on various social media platforms, including Facebook. The participants were at least 18 years of age and residing in the USA. After a successful recruitment process, the participants were asked to complete the survey questionnaire, which was designed to collect information about demographic details, participant’s behaviors, attitudes and beliefs about the COVID-19 pandemic, and participant’s current mental status. Moreover, the survey included a question about changes in sleep duration throughout the pandemic.

Based on the sleep-related information, the scientists made three categories: “sleeping less than usual,” “sleeping more than usual,” and “no change in sleeping.” To assess the mental health status of participants, a specialized questionnaire was included in the survey, which specifically examined COVID-19-related anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Important observations

A total of 5,175 participants completed the survey. About 54% of them reported experiencing changes in sleep duration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The younger participants and women were more affected by the pandemic. Moreover, the highest level of sleep alterations was observed among participants who lived in urban areas, had children at home, being single, or being employed.

In general, about 17% of the participants reported having less sleep during the pandemic, whereas about 37% reported having more sleep. An inverse correlation was observed between age and sleep duration, with older participants reporting less sleep duration. Regarding other sociodemographic factors, a positive correlation was observed between sleeping more and being female, being divorced/separated, or being single. Similarly, the participants with higher education degrees reported having more sleep.

Regarding COVID-19-related beliefs, the participants who feared more about acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection and its severity reported having less sleep than usual. In contrast, the participants who strongly believed that COVID-19 is associated with severe symptoms reported having more sleep.

Most importantly, the statistical analyzes of unadjusted and fully-adjusted models revealed the both “sleeping less than usual” and “sleeping more than usual” behaviors were strongly correlated with tested mental conditions, including anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Study significance

The study reveals that most US citizens have experienced either an increase or a decrease in sleep duration during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the changes in sleep duration are associated with various sociodemographic factors and beliefs about the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The strongest association between alteration in sleep duration and mental health conditions observed in the study highlights the need for monitoring psychosocial aspects of individuals directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

Batool-Anwar S. 2021. Examining changes in sleep duration associated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic: Who is sleeping and who is not? MedRxiv. doi:, ... 21254996v1
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Re: Sleep disorders common during COVID-19 pandemic

Post by trader32176 »

COVID-somnia: Americans report increase in sleep problems during the pandemic

4/13/21 ... demic.aspx

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a negative impact on our sleep, according to new findings from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. In a recent survey, more than half of Americans reported an increase in problems sleeping since the start of the pandemic.

The AASM surveyed 2,006 adults in the U.S., and 56% indicated that they have experienced an increase in sleep disturbances, sometimes referred to as "COVID-somnia." Common sleep disturbances included problems falling or staying asleep, sleeping less, experiencing worse quality sleep, and having more disturbing dreams. Those aged 35-44 had the highest rate of COVID-somnia sleep disturbances at 70%.

"Stress, anxiety and disruptions to our routines can all have a negative impact on our sleep," said Dr. Fariha Abbasi-Feinberg, a sleep medicine physician in Fort Meyers, Florida, and member of the AASM board of directors. "Unfortunately, sometimes the harder we try to sleep, the more difficult it is to achieve sufficient, healthy sleep."

The struggle for a good night's sleep is also leading to an increase in the use of sleep aids. According to the AASM survey, 51% reported using medication, over-the-counter supplements, or other substances to help them fall asleep, while 68% of those using sleep aids acknowledged that they've been using them more frequently during the pandemic. Of those using sleep aids, only five percent said they use them rarely.

"Medicinal sleep aids should be used cautiously for people with sleep problems and should always be used in consultation with a medical provider," said Abbasi-Feinberg. "Many patients find that appropriate sleep hygiene will help them get better sleep, while those with chronic insomnia will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which includes strategies such as stimulus control, sleep restriction and relaxation therapy."

Abbasi-Feinberg suggests adopting healthy sleep habits and following these tips to address short-term insomnia:

Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
Don't go to bed unless you are sleepy.
If you don't fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings.
Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Don't eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.

For chronic insomnia, which involves trouble sleeping at least three times a week for at least three months, help is available from more than 2,700 AASM-accredited sleep centers.

"Sleep is important to our overall health, and it boosts the immune system and strengthens the effectiveness of vaccination, so don't ignore persistent sleep problems," said Abbasi-Feinberg. "Talk to your medical provider if you're struggling to sleep well on a regular basis."


American Academy of Sleep Medicine
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